The BJP central leadership has reportedly sent a signal to Karnataka’s controversial chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to prepare to step down. However, as part of a compromise formula, the leadership is willing to allow Mr Yeddyurappa to select his own successor before leaving office.
Mr Yeddyurappa has so far maintained a defiant stance, refusing to succumb to party pressure to resign. But BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who till now has been supporting the chief minister, is learnt to have “informally” told Mr Yeddyurappa that it is “now time for him to relinquish the CM’s post,” sources said. Mr Yeddyurappa, who has been holidaying with his family as the crisis raged in Bengaluru, has also been summoned to New Delhi to meet the party’s top leaders.
Trouble continued to brew for the chief minister on Sunday with Karnataka governor H.R. Bhardwaj saying that he would send a report to President Pratibha Patil as soon as the Lokayukta’s report on illegal mining in the state, which is understood to have indicted the CM, his ministers and family members, is officially submitted, possibly by Tuesday.
The BJP leadership, which is gearing up to take on the UPA government on corruption-related issues in the forthcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, fears that its campaign would “lose its moral edge” if Mr Yeddyurappa continued to remain in office.
Top BJP leaders like L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley also want the Karnataka chief minister to resign to save the party from “further embarrassment”. Senior Karnataka BJP leader Ananth Kumar, known to be an arch-rival of Mr Yeddyurappa, is said to be “watching the scene from the sidelines”. A section in the party would like Mr Kumar to become CM after Mr Yeddyurappa goes.
Sources claimed that Mr Yeddyurappa was tapping his RSS links in an attempt to save himself, but the RSS leadership had so far remained “non-committal” on the issue. A BJP national executive member, meanwhile, told this newspaper that the party “cannot take an official stand till the report is submitted”. Once that happens, he added, “the party will mount pressure on the chief minister to quit”.
Interestingly, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, known to be a supporter of Mr Yeddyurappa, also appears to be changing her stance now. Asian Age